The owner of the Vermont Hotel and County Hotel has hailed a record year with turnover increasing 16% to £34.7m in a year in which it added to its growing property portfolio.
Headquarted in Chester-le-Street, County Durham , the Gainford Group of businesses are focused on hotels, care, leisure and childcare, and all four divisions have grown rapidly in the last year.
Accounts for Gainford Care Homes Ltd show the group’s pre tax profit more than doubled from £3.078m in 2017 to £6.478m in 2018 on the increased turnover figure.
Total comprehensive income for the year also soared from £2.8m to £21.3m, buoyed by an £18.6m property revaluation boost, reflecting its growing portfolio.
During a busy year for the group it completed work on the County Hotel Apartments, a sister venue of luxury apartments on Westgate Road to the nearby County Hotel, started a makeover of its rooftop Sky Bar at the Vermont Hotel, and also acquired a new property, the former Premier Inn in Newbridge Street.
In the accounts report, directors said turnover from the hotels division increased significantly during the year, thanks to ongoing improvements, and that its bars and restaurants across Newcastle had also fared well.
The report said: “Aveika, The County Hotel and the Vermont Hotel showed higher sales and profitability for the year. This pattern was continued at Bar Livello, who also retained the title of Best Bar for the fifth year running.
Aveika was also voted Best Restaurant in Newcastle by way of a public vote at the British Restaurant Awards in May 2018, despite strong competition from several prominent and established operators. From a financial standpoint the venue also posted its strongest ever results and this has continued into 2019.”
It also said the year had proved to be a good trading period for its care homes, with occupancy levels higher than anticipated and a fee increase agreed with the local authority leading to higher turnover.
Meanwhile, within its nursery division, both Bright Star nurseries in Birtley and Chester-le-Street reached target occupancy ahead of expectations and Oftsed rated both sites as Outstanding at the last inspection.
Looking ahead, directors said: “The group acquired the 180-bedroom Newbridge Street Hotel in April 2018. Whilst the site is currently trading the company has submitted ambitious plans to Newcastle City Council to totally transform the site into a five star location with rooftop bars, new restaurants, totally remodelled bedrooms and function space suitable for 500-plus delegates. It is expected that work will start on the project towards the end of 2019 and will likely take 18 months to complete.”
Imran Khaliq, a Gainford Group director, said: “2018 has been the best year ever in the company’s history with 2019 looking even stronger. All four of our sectors contributed positively to this overall performance, showing that our healthcare, childcare, hotels and leisure are all performing ahead of expectations.
Gainford are continually investing in a expansion programme across all our sectors to make sure the quality of services across our businesses are ahead of competition. We have acquired a number of new sites, to create new jobs and have a strong development plans for 2019.
Gainford are one of the largest independent employers in the North East with over 2,500 members of staff with the ambition to increase that number in next 12 months."
See the full article from Newcastle Evening Chronicle here.